Justin Lee Richardson

1 AP
Left: Justin, circa 2001;
Right: Age-progression to age 23 (circa 2011)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: July 2, 2001 from Grand Canyon, Arizona
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: June 6, 1988
  • Age: 13 years old
  • Height and Weight: 4'10, 100 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair, brown eyes. Justin's nickname is Little Man. At the time of his disappearance, his hair was shaved on the sides and long on top.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A red Chicago Bulls basketball jersey and denim shorts.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Justin was last seen in Kaibab National Forest in Arizona on June 29, 2001. He and some older friends had gone into to an area a few miles south of Grand Canyon National Park and five miles west of Moqui Lodge. Authorities believe he had been partying and was under the influence of drugs, possibly methamphetamine.

    Justin and his three friends got separated, and two of them got lost. Justin and another friend went to Tusayan, Arizona and asked another friend to help look for the missing pair. In the meantime, the two missing ones were located by Grand Canyon Railway employees, but Justin didn't know this. Justin and another of his friends returned to the Kaibab National Forest, at a spot five miles from Tusayan and fifteen miles from where their friends had been found some time earlier. His companion went to sleep at 9:00 a.m. When he woke up at 5:00 p.m., Justin was gone. He has never been heard from again. His father reported him missing on July 1. An extensive search of the area turned up no sign of him.

    Justin had been to the area four times before he disappeared, and was familiar with it; he'd never gotten lost before. Authorities aren't sure whether he did in fact lose track of his surroundings. He had run away from home once before, and it's possible he tried to do so again and was picked up hitchhiking by a passing motorist. If he did leave of his own accord, he may have tried to go to Chicago, Illinois to see his girlfriend. Justin lived with his father in Tusayan at the time of his disappearance, and is described a popular teen with many friends. Investigators believe he'd been abusing drugs and alcohol for about a year prior to going missing. His case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Coconino County Sheriff's Department
    800-338-7888

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    Source Information
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    NamUs
    The Arizona Daily Sun
    Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon
    by Michael P. Ghiglieri and Thomas M. Myers

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    Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated March 24, 2016; details of disappearance updated.

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